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Writers: Ida Hegazi Høyer (Oslo), Annelies Verbeke (Ghent) 
Moderator: Rosie Goldsmith (London)

In their most recent novels, Ida Hegazi Høyer and Annelies Verbekes relate the elemental force of love and the enormous energy, which is transmitted by philanthropy. They also reveal emotional coldness and even hatred of the other in our prosperous world today. A sense of paradise and the abyss are always dangerously close in their novels.

In Trost, Ida Hegazi Høyer lets a woman tour half of Europe and start various relationships. The subjects are anonymity and desire. All those involved are searching for something and yet they want no ties. Does the other person mean comfort or danger? The door is repeatedly opened for the stranger to avoid suffocating in the coldness and loneliness of the big cities.

In Annelies Verbeke’s novel, Dreißig Tage, the contrast could not be greater between the open-hearted Senegalese musician and the residents of the Flemish lowlands where he has ended up. While the reader falls for Alphonse’s charm and humanity, extreme animosity is brewing among the residents.



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